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pdf-open: unf*&^ bad PDFs if they won't print right


The pdf-open script is used when lab users attempt to print PDFs that our printers don't like for myriad reasons. The easiest solution is to rasterize the PDF and send it for printing again, hoping the printer gods are merciful. Examples of PDFs that commonly fail include many Econ 136 and Bio 1B papers, PDFs with strange images or scanned components in them, and things people try to print straight from Gmail attachment viewer.

If a user comes asking why their paper isn't printing right, first download the PDF, then run pdf-open $pdf_file. Don't forget the hyphen, and make sure the filename doesn't have any spaces or weird characters in it. After re-rasterizing the file, Evince will open, and you can start a new print job from there. Monitor the job's progress in to ensure the job survives. You may refund printing credits to the user in case they've gone over their daily capacity and you're feeling generous.